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Thomas KELLY/O'KELLY of Dysert, County Clare

Thomas O'KELLY or KELLY (c1744-c1780), lived at Dysert, County Clare. 

My spouse's (Maureen MURPHY (nee KELLY) KELLY ancestors came to Australia from near Ennis in County Clare, Ireland.

We believe that they begin with Colonel John Patrick O'KELLY (1690-1746) of Aughrim, County Galway. His family later moved to County Clare. We believe there is a reasonable basis to claim (based partly on historical evidence, partly on family stories, partly on other people's research and partly on educated guesswork) that his son, Thomas O'KELLY (c1744-c1780), was the father of our Jeremiah KELLY (born c 1768) and who married Sarah mn unknown) who, in turn, was the father of Thomas KELLY (c 1796-29 Dec 1864).

So, from Thomas O'KELLY (who migrated to County Clare and dropped the 'O' from the name), we think Maureen's KELLY line goes to Jeremiah KELLY (born c 1768), to Thomas KELLY (c 1796-29 Dec 1864), to Daniel KELLY (c 1846-1920), to James Andrew KELLY(1878-1935) and to Maureen's father, James Andrew KELLY(1908-2000).

Thomas KELLY married Ellen CURTAIN (c1800-1888) in Ireland about 1830.

Thomas KELLY, son of Jeremiah and Sarah KELLY, and his spouse Ellen KELLY (nee CURTAIN) migrated to Victoria, Australia, about 1853 with their children. Thomas was about 57 years of age at the time. The shipping records for their arrival have not yet been located. Thomas KELLY was a farmer. Thomas and Ellen are buried in the Old Ballarat Cemetery, Victoria. Their children were Patrick (c1832-1903), Thomas (c1840-bef 1864), Ellen (c1842-1928), Jeremiah (c1843-1872), Daniel (1844-1920) and Sarah (c1846-bef 1864). Thomas and Sarah may have died in Ireland.

Maureen MURPHY (nee KELLY) is the great grand-daughter of Daniel KELLY. The birth of Dan KELLY to Tom KELLY and Ellen CURTIN on 15 Mar 1846 is recorded at

Important surnames in Maureen's family tree (in alphabetical order) are BARRY, CLANCY, CURTAIN, DONNELLY, DORAN, FOLEY, KELLY, KIRBY, QUIRK and SCOTT.

[Acknowledgment: My research has been assisted very much by Tony MORGAN's work on The KELLY Family of Kilmaley]

As to specific information I'm looking for, I'd be delighted to learn:

(1) whether Thomas O'KELLY was, in fact, the father of Jeremiah KELLY (c1768-?)?

(2) maiden name (and BDM information) for Sarah who married Jeremiah KELLY (c1768-?).

(3) townland in County Clare near Ennis where Jeremiah and Sarah KELLY lived and Thomas KELLY (c1796-1864) was born.

(4) shipping records for the migration of Thomas KELLY (c1796-1864) and Ellen KELLY (nee CURTAIN/CURTIN) to Australia.

(5) what happened to Thomas KELLY's (c1796-1864) parents, namely, Jeremiah (c1768-?) and Sarah KELLY? Did they die in County Clare or did they too emigrate and, if so, where to?

(6) BDM information about siblings of Thomas KELLY (c1796-1864).

(7) ancestral information about Thomas KELLY (c1796-1864) and his spouse (including their siblings).

At a more general level, I'm keen to (1) connect with my wife's KELLY Irish relatives, (2) confirmation of my researching so far or corrections that I need to make and (3) connect with other genealogists with an interest in my wife's particular KELLY ancestors.



Brisbane Queensland Australia



Tuesday 8th January 2013, 06:16AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Daryl,


    Thank you for your message and for sharing this information on the Ireland Reaching Out message board. I hope that someone recognises the family mentioned and makes a connection with you.


    Perhaps you could also try contacting the Clare Heritage Centre for assistance? However, a fee may apply for their services. Here are their contact details:

    Clare Heritage Centre,


    Co. CLare.

    Phone: +353 (0) 65 6837955   Email:


    The Co. Clare Library's Local Studies section may also be of interest to you. Here is a link to their website:


    Here is a link to the Co. CLare webpage of Ireland Genealogy Project which may also be helpful:


    I hope that this is helpful. Best of luck with the rest of your research!


    Kind regards,


    Genealogy Support


    Emma Carty

    Wednesday 6th March 2013, 03:23PM
  • Try the Kelly clan website. the family who claim descent from the soldier at Aughrim lived in Cragaknock in Kilmurry Ibricken. They will have people like Joe Kelly who have tracked that family extensively. I did not think that they were the same as the corofin dysert kellys but maybe so....There are a number of trees for them in various libraries. A lot of people have research on these families

    Family stories are often true

    Though I have no Kelly blood I am related to them distantly in a number of ways. General Sir Thomas kelly kenny who I am related to on the Kenny side was a Kelly who descended from the soldier you speak of. Clare library website clare past forum is another option for you.

    I dont think Corofin's records will go far enough back to help you



    Saturday 6th July 2013, 07:58PM